Tuesday, December 10, 2013



Excerpts from a conversation with Dr. Kenneth R. Pelletier; author of Mind as Healer, Mind as Slayer; Longevity; Holistic Medicine; and Healthy People in Unhealthy Places.  Dr. Pelletier's study is in longevity has taken him around the world in the pursuit of his studies.

Dr. Pelletier:
           Traditionally, calling something psychosomatic, saying it is in your head is dismissing it. As if something that's "all in the head" is not really there or anywhere at all.

          However, more and more we're coming to see that all states of, health and illness are in some way psychosomatic.  Not in the sense that they're imaginary, either, but in the sense they all involve mental and physical factors.

          How can the mind make someone ill?

Dr. Pelletier:
          .....Among those factors nutrition, exercise, stress, genetic predisposition, psychosocial factors, purely medical factors like injury or infection.  The question is, do some of those become disproportionate influences that result in illness, or do they all maintain an optimal balance which results in health?

          What I believe happens is that you begin with certain level of stress which most of us are under all the time.  Long-term, unabated stress.  Then along comes a "life stress event".  You suddenly get an accumulation of stress that precipitates the original condition into real illness.  For example, you might have a family history of hypertension and you're under a constant level of stress at your job.  So your blood pressure is slightly elevated.  Suddenly, one or more stressful life events take place and your blood pressure might zoom up to an alarming high point, resulting in dizziness, headaches or worse.

          Then, you can have a certain type of personality or psychological makeup that predisposes you to develop a specific kind of disorder.  Again, it is not the cause, but it is an influence.  One of many.  And in order to treat a person, we've got to unravel all the influences and go back and untangle the whole skein.

          Let's talk about programming yourself for success, for health.

Dr. Pelletier:
          There is no specific recipe.  There are some people who can drink, smoke, carry on, eat bad food, live in the worst possible toxic environment - and live to 100.  And there are people who stringently adhere to every single thing I am about to talk about - and die at 30 of ill health.

          If I had to choose the single most important factor, the one major predictor of longevity and health, it would have to be the pyscho-social environment I create for myself, perhaps, because it so deeply involves the consciousness of the individual.  It is important to stay involved and curious about life, your own life, and the life around you.  You have to feel fulfilled, that your life has meaning, that it's important for you to be alive.  You need a life wish.


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